Vice President Harris continues to focus Biden campaign on courting union voters during visit to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Vice President Kamala Harris returned to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, continuing the Biden-Harris campaign’s push to win the support of labor unions. Harris delivered the keynote speech to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Since SEIU’s founding, you have been on the front lines of every major expansion of the rights of the American people,” Harris said.

She spoke to SEIUa the day after the organization was elected April Verrett the first black woman president. “Talk about a phenomenal woman and a powerful fighter for justice and fairness,” Harris said of Verrett. “I know firsthand that April is a leader who always has an uncompromising focus on employee empowerment and rights.”

During Harris’ speeches, there were repeated crowd chants of “free Palestine” and “four more years.”

Courting union voters has been a regular feature of President Joe Biden’s career in elected office. In recent years, Biden has made an annual visit to Pennsylvania for Labor Day, spoke in the City of Brotherly Love last year on vacation, touting his administration’s commitment to union work. While its first stop in 2024 in Pittsburgh last month, Biden thanked U.S. steel workers for their support, calling himself a “union man from belt buckle to the sole of his shoe.”

Tuesday was Harris’ second visit to Pennsylvania this month, following an appearance at Montgomery County, where she joined actress Sheryl Lee Ralph to discuss reproductive rights. Three of Harris’ four visits to Pennsylvania this year were to the Southeast, a densely populated region where Democrats rely on racking up substantial numbers provide the state with 19 electoral votes.

Biden has made seven appearances in Pennsylvania this year, including a week-long visit to three cities the week before the state’s primary. Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, visited Pennsylvania three times in 2024, speaking with gun rights supporters in Harrisburg and at so in the Lehigh Valley. His only visit to Philadelphia was in February, where he unveiled a recent product line Trump brand shoes at Sneaker Con.

Trump also held rally in Wildwood, New Jersey earlier this month, an event that many Pennsylvanians attended.

Survey from AARP of Pennsylvania AND Muhlenberg College released earlier this month showed Trump with a slight lead over Biden, although U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) has a slight edge over Republican challenger David McCormick.

The Cook Political Reporta national ratings site, rates the presidential race in Pennsylvania, the state with the most electoral votes, tied for that distinction, as a loss.

This is a developing story and will be updated

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